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Random Firings of a Philosophical Rebel
If I had a cooler title like "Cruel Intentions" more people would probably read this, but I'm too lazy to come up with a good title now. Inside will be thoughts, musings, rants, poems, maybe short stories, and other random stuff. Enjoy.
Keep On Ba-Rockin' In the Free World.
So, this post comes on the heels of some news that has literally shaken the foundations of many established American norms.

A black man will be nominated for President by one of the two major parties...and he's actually got a good shot to win.

Barack Obama is many things, but a fool he is not. The more and more I follow his campaign, the more and more I realize how undeniably brilliant he and is staff are. I've always had a soft spot for political theorists, and way back when Obama announced his candidacy, I was very curious to see how the campaign would run. There are so many pitfalls, so many unknown elements that could come in to ruin a ground-breaking campaign such as this one, yet Obama and his staff navigated around every single obstacle in their path.

The first thing I looked at was how Obama presented his campaign. Many black candidates in the past, such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Carol Moseley Braun, presented themselves as champions of the poor, the working-class, and minorities. They drew strength in the polls from the areas of the country that they had fought for for years. Yet that was their cardinal mistake. Each of those three, as with so many other black candidates, emphasized the fact that they were black in order to secure voters - voters from districts that they already had significant favor in. In concentrating energies on such select demographics, each of these candidates robbed him or herself of the chance to appeal to a larger American public. Championing the cause of minorities is all well and good, but it won't win you the presidency; minorities are just that, a minority. To win the presidency, you need white America.

From the beginning, Barack Obama distanced himself from prominent black community leaders eager to claim another candidate as "one of them." Obama campaign strategists presented one of the most brilliant courses of action I have ever seen in the course of a run at the presidency. Acknowledging that both democratic candidates were groundbreaking (a woman and a black man) they simply refused to even touch the issue. At no point did Barack Obama make an effort to emphasize his race.

When Jesse Jackson invited Obama to a sit-down dinner with some of the nation's most prominent black figures, Obama graciously refused the invitation. When the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor for years, delivered a vehement, incendiary speech that could have spelled doom for the Obama campaign, Barack Obama stood up and delivered hands down the best, most insightful speech I have heard from any politician in as long as I can remember. He refused to ignore race, instead becoming the first politician to acknowledge that race is an issue in America that must be confronted with honesty and openness. Such candor is rarely visible even in a candidate for a local Town Board position, much less President of the United States. Now, some may say that this speech was contradictory to the direction his campaign was going. (De-emphasizing his race and all that.) I wholeheartedly disagree. Barack Obama did not attempt to make himself out as a raceless figure, he simply chose not to play the part of the stereotypical black candidate. He transcended such definition and ran a campaign that showed him as he really is: an American.

The difficulties Obama faced in this campaign seemed insurmountable. The fact that no other black candidate had even come close to securing a major party nomination weighed heavily. The fact that his opponent had already spent eight years in the White House made things worse. Yet when the stakes were high, and the pressure was on, what happened? Obama delivered a landmark speech that should be taken to heart by every single person in America. Hillary cried. I could hijack this discussion now into what I think of Hillary Clinton, but the fact of the matter is, Hillary finally succumbed to the role many had defined for her: the woman candidate. To do so was to admit defeat, to give up on being an American candidate and to fall into a pre-defined role. Barack Obama's success is partly due to his absolute refusal and rejection of such a role.

I could spend hours and lots more space here going on about Obama's policies, his plans, and everything else about his campaign, but I will simply say this:

In November, when our country gathers to determine not only the President of the United States, but the leader of the free world, my vote will go to Barack Obama.

P.S. Feel free to disagree with my politics, but do it in a constructive and intelligent manner, rather than "UR STOOPID GO MCCAIN."

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  • User Comments: [2]
    I'm a diehard republican, but I will be voting for Obama. I really do not want McCain in office.

    comment TAIS Vaginal Contractor · Community Member · Sun Jun 08, 2008 @ 10:46pm

    I'd just like to comment on the fact that although Obama's father is a black man from Kenya, his mother is white, and he was raised by his white grandparents.

    I understand that his skin color is not white, but honestly, I don't see how every one can look at him and go "Oh he's black!" He's only half black, and in being raised by whites, I'd say he's more white than black. This is how I think he was able to keep away from calling himself the "Black Candidate"- perhaps he doesn't consider himself "black" so to say.

    Either way, Obama is fantastic. He's got the young people's vote, he's taking in Hilary's followers right now (women), obviously he's got the black vote, but he's also got the vote of some older people who want to see change.

    I'm excited to see how he plays his campaign against McCain. I do think he has to smarten up a bit on foreign politics, which he's already starting to do, before he'll be able to be taken more seriously by those who are unsure.

    comment Moonlight Silver · Community Member · Thu Jun 12, 2008 @ 04:29pm
    User Comments: [2]

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